As a pediatrician serving the inner city for the last 16 years, I have seen many dedicated physicians leave the west side of Chicago and move their practices to the suburbs. These physicians who served substantial numbers of Medicaid patients are under tremendous pressures. These pressures are exacerbated because of low pay, slow pay and the harassment of being suspended or terminated from receiving state payments after IDPA (Illinois Department of Public Aid) audit review. Dr. Arvind Goyal, past president of the Chicago Medical Society, received complaints that IDPA reviews have been unfair and interfere with reasonable medical practices.
As a life member of the Academy and a pediatrician practicing in the inner city of Chicago for the last 14 years, I welcome with enthusiasm the proposed increased Medicaid reimbursement starting September 1989. The state's Medicaid program will only work if there are participating physicians involved. One way to ensure that physicians will participate is to ensure they are compensated fairly for their services. Low Medicaid payments present a serious obstacle to improved child and maternal health. Increasing physician rates is needed to improve access to care.